Aim Right For The Holes In Their Lives (2005, Mint)

Such is the challenge of the indie record critic when he/she is compelled to specify references and comparisons that are as obscure as the very recording being critiqued, but I digress. Featuring ex-Duotang front man Rod Slaughter, Winnipeg’s Novillero are an astute, sophisticated pop band that’s apt to change musical temperaments every four minutes or so. The building blocks for Novillero’s beguiling concoction takes form with a solid but agile, post-Merseybeat foundation, integrating a slight Elephant Six-ish charm, a la the Olivia Tremor Control, et al. The infectious, piano-driven stomp of ‘The Hypothesist’ and ‘Gaining Ground/Losing Sight’ point to more familiar strains of mid-career Sloan, ‘Dean’s’ hard-jangled chords smack of recent Ted Leo, and ‘The Art of Carrying On’ will fool you into believing this disk is a mislabeled Spoon album. Despite it’s smooth-as-silk continuity, Aim For the Holes boasts a myriad of techniques, which upon subsequent listens will have you reassessing your new favorite Novillero song, or at the very least unearthing some cozy nooks and crannies that failed to catch your eardrums the last time around.

-Neal Agneta 9/21/05

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